The Sound Of Our Wide-Eyed Now

“Music is always migrating from its point of origin to its destiny in someone’s fleeting moment of experience.” – Alex Ross, in The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

I’d like to think that in a world that is particularly unkind to the unordinary, there are scattered, little pockets of heaven reserved for the misfits to cultivate and embrace their own; and eventually, each other’s quirks, boons, and banes.

For me, it all began one Friday night in April of 2012, when I went to my first gig. Three years’ worth of immeasurable happiness, unspeakable gratitude, bitter heartbreaks, forged friendships, severed ties with people, roistering adventures, dull moments, and unsavory choices after—none of which I regret (and none that melodramatic crying episodes can’t help ease)—I was not even remotely expecting this is where and how I would end up.

How Ian (Urrutia, founder of Vandals On The Wall and a very good friend of mine) and I found ourselves curating our own, regular gig called The Rest Is Noise is pretty much a cliché story. In late 2014, I was already musing about the idea of producing a gig for my birthday in February of the following year.

After consulting Ian, he proposed that we make it a two-night event, with him bringing in electronic act Skymarines and the Thea Pitogo-fronted folk band from their hometown in Davao to Metro Manila. I personally handpicked my favorite acts for the second night. The reception was overwhelmingly positive, and we decided to make it a bimonthly thing from then on.

At present, we’re at our fourth series—parts seven and eight—which will be happening on the 17th and 24th of October. Our process of curating lineups for each night remains the same way: pool our favorite acts (we have a couple of bands that regularly play for us) together, along with newcomers that we’re particularly excited about, and occasionally bring regional acts when schedules and budgets permit.

Essentially, Ian and I will book acts that we would want to watch ourselves in one night; sometimes throwing caution to the wind and out the logistics window to stick to our guts. Citing agenda, it’s actually simple: help out local acts by giving them a platform to share and perform their music to an audience, build networks and connections, and take opportunities to open doors to wherever these shows can take these acts.

If I think about it, it’s like chasing our dreams and living in them simultaneously, in a cycle of collective euphoria. I get to enjoy a great night with friends; listening to all these bands as they bring their music out, lingering and bouncing in the air—to an audience who, like me, would rather be in a cubbyhole in Katipunan or Makati rather than anywhere else.

It was never about a singular interest, and though this was a non-lucrative passion project we chose to delve in, we get to fuel our own drive—the same one that made us come back to these gigs we go to in the first place. For a couple of hours, our lives are momentarily suspended between our school/corporate/agency-riddled realities and youth-tinted, gilded dreams.

The Rest Is Noise, for me, is the launchpad of my life, converging with others towards a music-filled haven that will leave an indelible mark in my memories: too unbelievably real, too massively spectacular—like soaring to the skies.

This article was cross-published on

VIDEO: ‘Sila’ – Sud

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 1.05.18 AM
Sud’s ouevre mostly combines love and lust, infusing one to the other that has less to do with objectifying either act but rather than celebrate the naturalness of both: their simplicity in theory and their complexities in reality. To talk about their body of work (pun) so far is to apply these contexts in fragments or in ambiguity, or risk the sordid business of exposing taboo topics of sex through the elements of music – and successfully doing so.

And when it almost seemed inescapable to associate them with carnal pleasures and promises, ‘Sila’ was released. A year later since it graced live audiences (and a couple of changes in arrangement), the song finally received its accompanying visual treatment – one that tells a familiar story, one that all of us are privy to, satisfied to be mere spectators, but earnestly wishing to not play a part in it. The music video’s task is to widen the song’s berth, to personify the feelings, and embed images the song are possibly limited to provide. On ‘Sila’, the representation is that of forbidden love: with the conventional pretext of good until it’s otherwise. It is a loving ode to the telltale pain and bliss of love, in spite of circumstances, and gambling on consequences. But on the other hand, taking the situation out of the equation, the theme remains universal, only the dynamics are unique to each person, each relationship. There is no singular affirmation to it, a be-all and end-all to life’s ultimate joy and contentment. But ‘Sila’ assures one thing, that it fulfills the promise of an earnestly simple and relatable love song. The reality is, its meaning will last longer than one person, one relationship, and one story, but the dream is to sustain its purpose, and hopefully, preserve it.

TRACK: ‘Eleven’ – tide/edit

tide/edit is, evidently and something that you should know by now, a practical band: adept, industrious, and most of all, fully conscientious. They operate within today’s largely laissez-faire system wherein they know what they want and they take charge of that desire, steering it to the direction they have chosen, with the undue pressure that has been put on them, not coming from others, but from their own selves. That their competition comes from within, it bares their individual tenacious hunger to better their work and put it against their previous ones, at the expense of much improved material. The growth of tide/edit’s sound is attributed to this discipline, which is more of a conscious effort to maximize the development of their upcoming sophomore album, Lightfoot, and less of bonepicking former mistakes. Essentially, in their latest single, ‘Eleven’, they are outsmarting themselves with better production, allowing us listeners to enjoy the minute details and lavish in simultaneous tempos, tambourine claps, and trademark melodic shifts – all under 3 ½ minutes. Compared to (and vaguely similar in purpose) Foreign Languages’ ‘Ten’, which is the closest to an aircraft gaining altitude, ‘Eleven’ is a kaleidoscope of bursting rhythms that beckons welcome to tide/edit’s new era.

Thank You

Waking up on a bleak Sunday morning with barely a wink of sleep might seem like a disgruntling thought, when today, it’s anything but. 

I’d like to express my deep gratitude to each and everyone of you – Route 196, bands, friends, and attendees – who have been a part of The Rest Is Noise Part 7. I could never think of anything better than to spend a cold, windy, and starless night in your warm company. It was admittedly a risky, if not reckless, call to twiddle our thumbs in vain – hoping the wrath of nature spare all of us not just tonight, but entirely. Maybe at least for a couple of hours, permeate us with a lovely night to recall, cozying up in a room full of friends and strangers, before we return to the biting cold of our beds back home. 

It might seem too juvenile, but as our event draws nearer and it was just the dark getting darker, we pushed through. It was a decision made not out of complete and utter disregard for everyone’s safety, which includes our own, but the weather was trying its damnedest to cooperate. 

It was so overwhelmingly surprising that at 9:30 pm, Route 196 was already filled with people. They who chose to be there rather than elsewhere. It felt like a million things are happening at once and I am in the middle of it all, simultaneously going through and bouncing off of me. 

At the beginning of Bullet Dumas’s set, with only his guitar and his voice thundering and ricocheting around the room, I felt as if this is maybe what people mean when they say, “let the chips fall where they may.” I felt as if every feeling I ever had and will have, but more importantly, what I have right now, is magnified a thousand times, too acute, and too palpable that I can wring it out of my body and touch it. Right then and there, my tears wanted to escape my eyes and become sadness, but instead, I was overrun by the realization that I will be fine. All the immeasurable pain that wrought me will mend my broken, but resilient heart. I will be fine. 

By the end of the night (which is, of course, around 3 in the morning already), the wind was already savage and the cold already stings. It was time to go home. As I bade farewell and gave awkward hugs and high fives to people, I felt a little warmer. I heaved out a sigh, not merely out of relief, but also of contentment. Because my heart is already filled with it, I had to send some to the wind.